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Poster: SactownTom Date: Dec 8, 2006 11:11am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: An Parental Head's Dilemma

This has been a great thread. I first read it around 6:45 PST, before there had been any responses, and I've been giving it a tremendous amount of thought. I think many others have very eloquently expressed a lot of what I was thinking about this issue. I have a son who turned 15 last month and is a freshman in high school. I've had several conversations with him about this over the last three years or so.
I'm one of those who came of age in the 70's--I started smoking herb and drinking at 13-14. Did lots of psychedelics up to about 86. Did lots of coke in the 80's (worst drug ever for me--never did meth, tho). I was a chronic pot smoker for more than 25 years--you know, wake and bake, all day every day--4:20 24/7. I know that I had a ton of fun along the way, but I also know I squandered many opportunities and much potential along the way as well (7+ years of college-no degree!).
My son's mother (my ex since he was 2), has had substance abuse issues of her own (her drug of choice was the coke). Since seperating from her, I only smoked herb and drank beer and the occcasional JD (rarely drinking to excess). I still smoked all day, every day. In spite of that, I was able to put together a pretty good life for my self--got a good job, met and married a great woman, had another son with her.
At the risk of boring you all to death, I'll quit with the background. 2 1/2 years ago, I sought treatment for my issues with the herb. My wife was tired of me being baked all the time, and I didn't like the way I felt as I sat in my garage by myself getting high. I was on the verge of fucking up my good life. So ,I've been doing the recovery deal since June '04. My life is better than ever, and I do not regret the decision to get help.
To bring it around to the topic at hand, I have had very open and honest discussions with my son about the choices I made, and the consequences of those choices. I have tried to make him aware of his predisposition for addiction, and have used my history as lesson for him. I didn't get into it here, but I screwed my life up pretty good--in large part due to my use of mind altering chemicals. I am NOT a zealot, and do not begrudge anyone on this forum or anywhere else the pleasure of a good scotch or some dank buds. I just couldn't enjoy like that--I needed to be high all the time (not so good).
I'm not sure this is contributing to this thread at all. I don't know why I laid this out here, but I guess I needed to. I think most people can enjoy getting a buzz now and then, and not let it get in the way of their life. Others have a little more difficulty with it. I do agree that our kids need some maturity, need to have progressed on their path a ways, before they can make an informed decision on drinking and smoking and the like. I see nothing wrong with smoking herb, or drinking, or even (especially) psychedelics when one is ready for that. I just don't think my 15 year old is ready to make that call yet. We're all different, and someone like Max seems to have his head on pretty damn straight (for a deadhead!). I would never doubt that he knows himself and what he is ready for at this time in his life.
Good luck SDH. You seem to be a thoughtful and loving parent. The guess from here is your kids have and will make the right decisions in their lives, in no small part because of their dad. Keep us posted. I'm going to be going through this for the next 3 years or so--it can only be easier if I keep a clear head.
Thanks to this forum. I feel blessed to have found this place and some kindred spirits. (no pun intended)

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Poster: SDH2O Date: Dec 8, 2006 12:39pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: An Parental Head's Dilemma

Very well said friend. Sounds like your son has got a good father. Best of luck with him, but it sounds like you've got your house in order and I'm sure things will work out. Very refreshing to hear folks admit to getting help when they really need it, I find its probably the most mature thing a person can do, takes a lot of guts to recognize one's own faults and that they can't be remedied w/out some outside help. Congratulations, my friend.